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Bombshell: Hoboken Mayor Zimmer alleges Christie allies held Sandy relief funds hostage

By Roxanne Cooper
Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:56 EDT
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Screenshot Mayor Dawn Zimmer from Up with Steve Kornacki
 
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In an exclusive interview on Saturday with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and community affairs commissioner Richard Constable delivered a message on behalf of Governor Chris Christie: Approve a ‘lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor’ or ‘be starved of hurricane relief money.’

“The fact is, the Lt. Gov came to Hoboken and she pulled me aside in the parking lot and she said, ‘I know that it’s not right, I know that this thing should not be connected, but they are. And if you tell anyone, I’ll deny it,’” claimed Mayor Zimmer.

Zimmer continued, “…the bottom line is that it’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds for the city of Hobokoen because he wants me to give back to one private developer …I cannot give a windfall to one property owner because the governor wants me to in exchange for the Sandy funds.”

According to The Star-Ledger, “At issue is one of Hoboken’s last undeveloped patches – a 19 block area in the north end of town.”

[Lori] Grifa –[the former commissioner of community affairs], Zimmer told Kornacki, helped Hoboken up with a $75,000 grant through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to fund a study on its development when she was commissioner in 2010.

But Zimmer said she was baffled that when the study came out in January 2013, it only recommended developing 3 of the 19 blocks that were owned by the Rockefeller Group.

The Rockefeller Group was represented by Wolff & Samson, according to Kornacki – the law firm of Port Authority Chairman David Samson. And Grifa, after stepping down as commissioner in 2011, began to lobby for the firm.

Watch video of the interview below and be sure to read Steve Kornacki’s full report here:

Roxanne Cooper
Roxanne Cooper is the publisher of Raw Story. She has 20+ years experience in media management, marketing, and advertising and has held positions with AlterNet, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, LA Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Stars & Stripes. From 2004-2008, Roxanne published the popular political blog Rox Populi. She lives in San Francisco and you can follow her on Twitter at @AlterRox.
 
 
 
 
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